Food

Happening in the Hills: A Look around the Northwest Corner of Connecticut

While many realtors exit your life after you have finished buying or renting a home, we look forward to forging a lasting relationship and introducing you to the community in every way. Litchfield County is a special place with wonderful restaurants, galleries, land trusts, lakes, plenty of children's activities, and talented residents.

Check out one of our favorite local blogs that explores just how great the Litchfield County community is: Happening in the Hills. Happening in the Hills embraces all the great things Litchfield has to offer. From the variety of restaurants, to the various art galleries, museums, antique stores, high-end boutiques, tag sales, and more, Happening in the Hills keeps you up-to-date on all local events, gatherings, workshops, seminars, and outings throughout Litchfield County. 

A great aspect of the blog is the series of in-depth articles on our talented residents. Litchfield County is a unique community with an abundance of residents who want to share their talent with others. Happening in the Hills does a great job of highlighting their expertise and promoting their work for all of us to see.

A new addition to the blog is the local life coach expert Tal Fagin. In her "coaching corner" she answers reader's requests for advice.

Make sure to check out their blog for great recommendations if you need something to do, or if you want to give your friends a better idea of why Litchfield County is so great!

Don't forget to Subscribe! 

CT Spring Fun Guide!

The online blog Mommy Poppins just released their top nine things to do with kids this spring in Litchfield County. With warmer weather (hopefully) around the corner, it is a great time to explore the nature and other outdoor activities Litchfield County has to offer. Check out these recommendations and let us know which one is your favorite!

1. Sharon Audubon Center: the center encompasses four nature sanctuaries and 3,000 acres in Northwestern Connecticut, an education center, and a Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. Come and meet 21 different birds of prey at the raptor exhibit, including a bald eagle and great horned owl. Take a hike through one of its many beautiful nature paths, and stop by the museum to see more fun animals and areas to play. (Sharon)

2. John J. McCarthy Observatory: a world-class astronomical observatory with a built to scale model solar system! (New Milford)

3. White Memorial Conservation Center: dedicated to protecting its forests and countryside, the center provides year-round environmental education programs for kids. Go geocaching at the Little Pond Trail, view the live snake habitat and fluorescent rock cave in the children's room, or take a hike along a boardwalk trail through a wetland environment. Make sure to check their spring break camps! (Litchfield)

 

4. Arethusa Farm & Dairy Farm: take an open house tour at the farm in Litchfield, and stop by their dairy store in Bantam to get some homemade ice cream, and cheese! (Litchfield & Bantam)

5. Litchfield Hills Farm Fresh Market: stop by the indoor farmer's market and check out the different vendors offering seasonal field-fresh produce. Besides the stands there are guest artists, workshops, and children's activities including story hour for the little ones. (Litchfield)

6. Daffodil Display: a lovely daffodil garden that began in the 1930s and covers a couple of acres. Open from sunrise to sunset! (Litchfield)

7. Wisdom House: this retreat and conference center is home to a classical 7-circuit labyrinth. (Litchfield)

8. Cricket Hill Garden: a specialty plant nursery, one of the first nurseries in the U.S. to sell true-to-name varieties of the Chinese Tree Peonies. Go explore their seven-acre peony festival! (Thomaston)

9. Eric Sloane Museum: a prolific artist, author, and illustrator of over 30 books. Go visit Eric Sloane's studio as well as the Kent Iron Furnace museum next door. (Kent)

 

New Wine Bar in New Preston!

 

 

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, go and stop by The Owl!

The owner and executive chef of the Main Street Grill in Watertown, John Bourdeau, has opened a modern wine bar in the center of New Preston. Modeled after an authentic European wine bar, The Owl provides a cozy intimate setting for you to relax with a glass of wine or craft beer. The wine bar features an extensive list of wines including the typical wine by the glass as well as rare wines. There is also a ‘small bites’ menu that features snacks such as nuts and olives, local meats and cheeses chosen to complement the wines and beers available, and various desserts.

Stop by to enjoy this unique experience!

The Owl                                         Hours
18 East Shore Rd.                           Mon/Tues: Closed
New Preston, CT                             Wed-Fri: 4p-10p
860-619-0585                                  Sat/Sun: 1p-10p
owlnewpreston.com 

 

Come Celebrate the Arts in Litchfield County this Weekend!

Come Celebrate the Arts in Litchfield County this Weekend!

 

A Story of Place

A cocktail party will be held on Saturday September 10 in honor of the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council. Guests are invited to join for cocktails and explore the newly restored 1769 Benton/Anderson Farm studio of artist Michael Quadland.

The tickets are limited so RSVP at ncac9-10-16.eventbrite.com or call 860 618 0075. Tickets are $55, and the event is located at 232 Benton Road, Morris (4:30-6:30 p.m.).

“What can an old house tell us about the past life and times of the people who lived there? And what can its restoration and repurposing tell us about the present and future?"

 

Support the Arts & Humanities in Litchfield!

The Litchfield Historical Society is holding a Barn Bash Fundraiser on Saturday September 10. The Barn Bash features cocktails, dinner, and entertainment from jazz singer Wanda Houston. Proceeds from the event will support the LHS’s educational programs and their new Tapping Reeve Landscape project, which will recreate elements of landscapes long found in Litchfield.

Tickets for the bash start at $125 per person. The Barn Bash is located at the White Barn at South Farms, 21 Higbie Road, Morris (6:30-11:00 p.m.). For more information visit their website or call 860 567 4501.

 

 

Bridgewater’s Finest: Art Show & Studio Tour

The Burnham Library in Bridgewater is having a reception on Saturday September 10 to celebrate the opening of a group show, the event includes six artists who have opened their studios for a tour.

This is a free event sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The reception is located at the Burnham Library 62 Main Street South, Bridgewater (4:00 – 6:00 p.m.). The show will be up until September 29. Maps are available at the library and studios. For more information visit their website or call 860 354 6937.

 

 

Land Trust Picnics!

Celebrate the end of summer with our two favorite land trust picnics!

Steep Rock Association and Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust invite you to join them for their Annual Family Picnic and Fall Celebration!

On Saturday September 10, Steep Rock Association is hosting their annual family picnic from noon until 2 p.m. There will be complimentary programs, hamburgers, hotdogs, fixings, lemonade, and cookies! The picnic will take place at the Steep Rock Preserve in Washington Depot.

No registration required!

For more information and directions go to their website

On Saturday September 17, Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust is having their Fall Celebration from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The program includes breakfast, hot air ballooning (weather permitting), hayrides, annual meeting, BBQ lunch, nature hikes, live music by Switch Factory, face painting, and arts & crafts. Located across from Smyrski Farm: 238 Merryall Road, New Milford CT.

 All day family fun!

For more information visit their website

                

 

The Bridgewater Country Fair!

Don't miss out on the Bridgewater Country Fair fun!

Make sure to stop by the Bridgewater Fair this weekend for a traditional fair experience. Focused on preserving the character of country fairs, the Bridgewater Fair is an event where farmers and other country folk come together to compete with their prized livestock, produce, and arts and crafts.

                                            

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

Besides the contests there is a lot to see and participate in at the Fair. Events offered all weekend include: rides, amusements, commercial tents, industrial and agricultural exhibits, hunting and fishing expo, dunking booth, mechanical bull, and knocker ball. Check the schedule for the livestock shows, children’s pedal tractor pull, antique tractor pull, children’s pet parade, pie eating, hay bale throwing, baking contests, home and art contests and much more, to make sure that you don’t miss out!

                        

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

There is also a large variety of great food tents throughout the fairgrounds serving all kinds of treats from hotdogs to chocolate covered bacon. Make sure to try the famous roast beef sandwiches, chicken breasts, and corn!

On Friday evening the Annual Bridgewater Fair Parade will kick off the weekend festivities. The parade starts at 6:45 pm with marching bands, color guard, and many other attractions making their way down Main St, Bridgewater. The parade features Volunteer Fire Companies from Connecticut and New York. They will be carrying their colors and showing off their newest trucks and antique fire equipment. 

                                             

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

Photo Courtesy of The Bridgewater Country Fair

A great family outing with something fun for everyone!

Check out their website for more information on hours, location and tickets (Parking is Free!).

 

Luxurious Chocolates for Valentine's Day

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn'thurt.
Charles M. Schulz

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….. in chocolate! The gift of flowers, wine and chocolate are romantic gestures, much appreciated by the beloved on Valentine’s Day. Of all of these, the sweetest and most luscious is chocolate. We are so lucky to have three wonderful chocolatiers who create the most sumptuous treats including the decadent cabernet sauvignon dark chocolate truffles from Thorncrest Farm.

Valentine's Day Pink Heart Box filled with Cabernet Sauvignon Chocolate Truffles

Throncrest Farm is known as the home of the 'single cow origin chocolates' and credit their success (they were voted best chocolate by Connecticut Magazine in 2015) to the 'magic in their milk'. You may imagine a bunch of generic Bessies in the field but it is Karissma, the big black sleek matriach of the farm, who makes the ultra rich smooth cream used in these truffles.

Signature Chocolate Crumb Chocolates from Thorncrest Farm

While you are picking out these delicious chocolates, why not sign up your Valentine for one of their farm classes? There is a one and a half hour class in making Butter, Yogurt and Creme Fraiche that takes place on April 9th, 2016 at 2:30. For more information, click here.

Pretty Pink Box from Bridgewater Chocolates

Bridgewater Choclates offers a variety of chocolates including turtles, toffees, caramels, truffles, peanut butter patties, hazelnut pralines, and more... All of the selections are handmade from the finest ingredients. This renowned chocolatier in Bridgewater,CT was originalled established by Erik Landefren who came from Stockholm, Sweden to open the highly acclaimed restaurant, Aquivit in NYC. The quality of the chocolates has been recognized by restaurants, retail stores and gourmet shops and their products are sold in many locations.

Hearts with Flowers from Bridgewater Chocolates

Kent Coffee & Chocolate has been a go to stop on Kent’s Main Street for over twenty five years. The store's patrons fill up the store for rich cups of joe while the chocolatiers in the back are busily making truffles and hand-dipped choclates. This is the spot to pick up a sweet selection of lovingly made confections for your favorite Valentine!

 

They also offer Valentine chocolate roses or the man in your life ..... how about whimsical choices like chocolate alligators, funky jelly bean monkeys or chocolate peanut butter 'bugs'? Have a little fun on Valentine's Day, the most romantic day of the year!

 

Shop Locations:

Kent Coffee & Chocolate Company

Address: 8 N Main St, Kent, CT 06757

Phone:(860) 927-1445

 

Thorncrest Farm and Creamery

Address: 280 Town Hill Road, Goshen 06756

Phone: 860-309-2545

 

Bridgewater Chocolate Factory and Factory Store

Address: 559 Federal Road, Brookfield, CT 06804

Phone: (203) 775-2286
 

Other locations include:

Bridgewater Village Store, Bridgewater CT

Good News Cafe, Woodbury, CT

Villarina's Pasta & More, Southbury CT

 

ENJOY!



 

 

Gracious Federal Antique Brick Home in New Hartford, CT

This circa 1829 home in New Hartford has been lovingly restored and sits on 2.2 lush acres with mature English perennial gardens, fruit trees,a meadow and deeded access to Jones Pond. The property is situated in the scenic Farmington Valley which is home to buccolic, historic towns and lovely countryside.

A View of the Town of New Harford

The area has many beautiful outdoor areas that can be enjoyed while skiing or hiking or simply walking through the town and enjoying the boutique and restaurant window fronts. Dining options include many establishments that use farm fresh ingredients and are inspired by the countryside around them.

Ski Sundown in New Hartford, CT has a variety of Trails for all Levels

There are many places to enjoy nature in Farmington Valley during the various seasons. The 80-mile Farmington Canal Heritage Trail and the 26-mile Farmington River Trail are spectacular destinations to explore. Of course, after the fresh air and activites, there are a trio of restaurants in New Hartford that should not be missed!

Exquisite Cheese Plate from Quercibella in New Hartford, CT

Homemade Sups and Scones from the Passiflora Tearoom in New Hartford, CT

The Eclectic, Fun Atomsphere of Blue Sky Foods known for their Amazing Seafood and Burgers.

New Hartford is bordered by Torrington to the west, Barkhamsted to the north, Canton to the east, and Burlington and Harwinton to the south. It is a close knit community with a lot of charm.

As the town website mentions, "The Farmington River traverses the downtown area, providing scenic beauty to all who frequent the quaint shops and businesses located there. In the spring, fly fishermen can be seen casting their lines in one of Connecticut's most well known catch-and-release areas."

Around this historic home you can meander through the gardens and across the covered foot bridge to the shed and greenhouse.The interior of the house features many period architectural details, stunning wide board chestnut and maple floors, built-ins, 5 fireplaces, a first floor bedroom with a remodeled en-suite.

Charming Interiors throughout this Historic Home.

Gracious Design and Cast Iron Tub.

The Master Bedroom with Vaulted Beamed Ceilings.

An Cozy, Comfotable Living Room with Fireplace.

A Charming Guest Cottage.

Well Lit Interior Spaces with Period Architectural Details.

For more images and information about this property, please click here.

Clcik on the links to area places and restaurants to be directed to their websites. 

 

 

 

 

Unlocking New Milford: Discover the Charm of this New England Town

On the western border of CT and nestled in the Housatonic Valley, the town of New Milford is often termed the “Gateway to Litchfield County”. Incorporated in 1712, the area is rich in history and was the original home of the Paugusett Native Americans who fished on the Aspetuck and Housatonic rivers still popular today with both residents and visitors. The town was active during the American Revolution and became a business hub for industries including buttons, furniture, pottery lime and tobacco in the 19th and 20th centuries. New Milford is actually the largest town by area in the state at approximately 64 square miles and includes the communities of Merryall, Northville and Gaylordsville.

Today, the town has blossomed with a variety of unique restaurants, artisanal gourmet shops, specialty boutiques for adults and children, galleries and more… Most people think of New Milford as the place to go for the big box retailers, you know the store you want close but not too close. However, there are lots of special places in New Milford. Here is a sampling of the businesses I love to frequent.

Poached Pear Salad at Lucia's Restaurant

Whether it is authentic Italian cuisine, gourmet Paninis, organic farm to table fare or Thai exquisitely spiced food, New Milford offers a wide range of dining choices. Lucia Ristorante, which was featured in the New York Times, has exceptional dishes that feature homemade pastas including pappardelle, spaghetti and cavatelli. Chef and owner, Antonio Caldaria delivers unmatched flavor with his Gnocchi Piemontese with prosciutto, fresh peas and mushrooms in a pink champagne sauce. Tonio’s Panino is not your average sandwich shop with wonderful vegetarian, chicken and meatball parmesan paninis as well as an amazing caprese sandwich with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato. Buon Appetito to all!

The Menu Board at Tonio's Panino

Farm Fresh Food at The Green Granary

If you lean towards organic fare, visit Epicuria located at the garden center ‘The Green Spot’. Epicuria has a variety of healthy salads and sandwiches as well as their renowned chocolate covered strawberry smoothie. You can eat al fresco in a sumptuous garden while the weather is warm. Epicuria is a gourmet take out and catering business as well. The Green Granary on Railroad St is an organic, non-gmo and sustainable café with a mission of farm to table food. Try their vegetarian, western or avocado omelettes, all made with organic eggs. Yum! They have outstanding chocolate chip cookies and this is my favorite food group! I am a chic chocolate chip cookie connoisseur (friends who know this send me cookies from all over the world). If you crave aromatic, exquisitely spiced food, don’t miss Thai Charm where they make a luxurious Tom Yum Goong soup and red, green and panang curries with your choice of chicken, beef, vegetable or shrimp.

Thai Charm Dinner with Aromatic Spices

There is much more to tempt your palette at the specialty food stores, cooking schools and premier caterers In New Milford. At Villarina’s pasta there are a host of homemade pastas and you can pick out Italian sauces such as porcini, puttanesca and walnut pesto to pair with them. The have great prepared garlic bread you just pop in the oven and wonderful frozen lasagnas. The Silo, as part of the Hunt Hill Farm offers a variety of cooking classes throughout the year. Upcoming is a Junior Bakers session on October 12th and ‘How to Make a Sublime Vegetarian Meal’ on October 16th. If you want to leave it to the experts and have your dinner party or event catered, Executive Cuisine has a full complement of dinners, hors d’oeuvres and succulent desserts. Sesame & wasabi crusted tuna skewers, garlicky lamb kebobs with tahini and lemon panna cotta with fresh fruit were recently served at interior designer’s event.

Villarina's Homemade Past Sauces

A Delectable Table from Executive Cuisine

An interesting array of boutiques for adults and children can be found in New Milford. Two delightful children’s toy stores, Nordica and Play, are definitely worth a visit and not just for birthday presents! Another great family activity is a visit to Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market which is held every Sunday through November 29th from 7 am to 2 pm. You can look at vintage clothing while the kids can check out the toy collectibles.

Games, Puzzles and More at Nordica Toy Store

A Wonderful Selection at Play Toy Store

Swank on Bank, a fashion boutique, located on Bank Street directly across from the movie theater, has one-of-a-kind apparel, jewelry and accessories. , I love the super soft cotton tee shirts! After shopping, Joe’s Salon is a great place for a blow dry, color or cut. They were voted one of the top 200 salons in the US by Salon Today. They also have an excellent spa for facials and massages.

Chic Denim Vests at Swank on Bank

An Open, Airy Interior at Joe's Salon

Across the street from Joe’s Salon is the Harts Art Galley which recently opened and exhibits mixed media, paintings and photography. Their new show, entitled ‘She’s a Changeling ‘opens October 3rd. If you take a stroll around the corner, have a look at the newly renovated and restored United Bank building which is now called 19 Main. It will be a rental space for weddings and other events starting with an upcoming wine tasting.

Photography by Evan Abramson at Harts Gallery

The United Bank Building is now 19 Main

I am thrilled to ‘unlock’ some of the treasures in New Milford. Try them for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comments box. All the businesses mentioned are linked to their websites so you can view directions and contact information.

Enjoy!

 

Washington Art Association Barn Dance at Waldingfield Farm

Love a good old-fashioned barn dance and country harvest festival? Then you don't want to miss this fantastic evening put together by The Washington Art Association and hosted by the well-loved Waldingfield Farm. There will be finger-lickin' barbeque, grilled foods, fresh garden salads, a pie contest and dancing for all!

Waldingfield Farm in Washington, CT

During the festivities, The Washington Art Associations invites you to take "a break from dancing, enjoy the art exhibition on the walls of the barn. Featured will be scenes from farm life: landscapes of barns and fields, portraits of chickens and cows, and much more!"

The Washington Arts Association is located in the Center of Washington Depot, CT

Drawing Classes at the Washington Arts Association

Education and Promoting the Arts is at the Heart of The Washington Arts Association

A Lovely Entry to the Farm Stand at Waldingfield Farm

Enjoy The Wool Hats band who will be playing your favorite reels and square dances! Family, friends and kids are welcome to enjoy this great night.

Place: Waldingfield Farm, 24 East Street, Washington, CT
Date: Saturday, September 26
Time: 5:30 - 10 pm
Price:
Adults -- $40 per person
Couple -- $75 per couple
Children -- $10 per child

Registration is required, please click here.

For more information, please contact The Washington Art Association by telephone at 860.868.2878 or by email at washingtonart@snet.net.